Some Changes Are Coming

Well, painting the front door a different color sure paid off!  We got a contract on our current home from the second family to look at it after the makeover.  So, obviously, that means…we’re moving!  We have so much to do before this happens in January.  The new-to-us home that we are purchasing needs a little updating, but we are beyond thrilled that it is on FIVE acres.

That size property means there’s going to be a lot of this in our future:
IMG_1964(Why yes, Sister, that is ME on a tractor!!  Now, go pick yourself up off the floor!!)

Here’s a sneak peek at what the place has in store…
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IMG_1479This is Sherry.  The kids are super excited to gain her as a pet.
IMG_1490There is even a sweet little pond!

Needless to say, there is a lot going on around here.  Selling one house….buying another….Christmas….school.  We are trying to stay a little ahead of the moving game by getting some packing done now.  Fortunately, Luna is here to help.  She likes to inspect every. single. box.
luna in box 1
luna in box 2
luna with paperStay tuned for lots of home updates once this move gets underway!  In the meantime, we are enjoying the Christmas season and are trying to keep things as normal as possible while packing up our belongings.  Jessa got into the spirit by decorating some delicious Santa cookies for us.
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IMG_2207They were pretty easy but turned out so cute!  Here’s the recipe from Betty Crocker and the how-to.

SANTA COOKIES

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup vanilla ready-to-spread frosting
3 tablespoons red sugar
18 miniature marshmallows
36 currants or semisweet chocolate chips
18 red cinnamon candies
3/4 cup shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Beat butter, granulated sugar and lemon peel in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon. Stir in egg and milk. Stir in flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 3 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet. Press bottom of drinking glass on each until about 1/4 inch and 3 inches in diameter. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

Spread frosting over each cookie.  Add red sugar sprinkles for the hat.  Add eyes and a nose.  Sprinkle on some coconut for a beard.  Top with a marshmallow on the hat.  It’s just that easy.  The cookies tasted great and looked adorable…they didn’t last long around here!

**We used chocolate chips for eyes.  And since everyone doesn’t love coconut, we left that off of some of the cookies and added a mini-chocolate chip Santa smile instead.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…IMG_2221

Keeping Kefir Under Control

Several months ago, we decided to venture into the world of kefir.  While new to us, it was apparently a pretty popular item in the world of raw milk and kefir lovers.  We ordered some kefir grains online and were really excited when our little tablespoon arrived.
IMG_1044 I remember we chuckled at how small the amount was.  The instructions that were included warned that the grains would eat us out of house and home.  Again we chuckled.  As the weeks progressed we did notice that they had multiplied a little.  But, you know, when you watch something grow on a daily basis, it is not as impressive as when you look away for a period of time and then come back to it.

Well, our daily jars started requiring more and more milk and we had to transfer some of our grains to a separate jar.  We placed those extra grains in the fridge (still being fed by raw milk) to keep them in a dormant state until we might need them.  We do rinse them and replace the milk regularly.  Would you like to see just how much our kefir kids have grown?  Here’s the little tablespoon we started with:
IMG_1049And here they are after a crazy growth spurt:
IMG_2187And to think we weren’t really noticing the growth!  I think we may need to start selling some kefir grains (they usually run about $10-$15 per tablespoon).  Why not?–we’ve got extra!

Now, if you’re not familiar with kefir (it tastes a lot like yogurt with many more healthy benefits) or have just seen the flavored stuff in the grocery dairy department, you may be wondering how we use our kefir.  Well, we make daily smoothies at breakfast.  We load them with fruit and whip them up in the blender.  Some of our standard flavors are banana/apple and banana/apple/blueberry.  It’s a super healthy breakfast.
IMG_1050We also use our kefir in pancakes on the weekend (shhhh!….the kids think they don’t like pancakes this way, but they actually love them.)
IMG_1687Sometimes we use the kefir whey to make other items, like ginger ale and salsa.
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If you’re interested in the benefits of kefir, do a little research online.  You’re body will thank you!  If you have any questions for us, let us know.  We’re not experts by any means but we can tell you what has worked for us.